TechCrunch Disrupt was all over the map this year. Artificial intelligence (AI) platform Viv said “Hello World,” celebrities like Carmelo Anthony and Jessica Alba took the stage to talk up their businesses, and a trio of start-up founders showed why women create better dating apps.
The conference paid plenty of attention to security, too, with speakers from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and a privacy versus security keynote from former CIA and NSA chief Michael Hayden for good measure.
The tech and business conference was held in an off-the-beaten-path corner of New York City’s map—the renovated Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook, which overlooks the East River and Lower Manhattan. There were plenty of local businesses and exhibitors on-hand to drive home the authentic Brooklyn feel, too, from local artist Carter Kustera’s silhouette portraits of the Richard Hendricks and Erlich Bachman characters from HBO’s Silicon Valley to the Red Hook WiFi initiative.
On the show floor, we found start-ups of all shapes and sizes, across hardware and software, consumer-focused and enterprise-facing. Some competed in this year’s Start-up Battlefield competition while others were recently crowdfunded. But all of the most interesting ones were built on an outside-the-box idea with inventive technological execution.
From underwater drones and dog-parking services to learning tech, virtual reality, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and more, here are 25 of the coolest, weirdest, most innovative, and straight-up fun start-ups we found at TechCrunch Disrupt.
#14 – The GoldCube
You’ve probably seen “We buy gold! We sell gold!” signs in countless pawn shops. Gold Cube wants to be the global ATM for selling gold and jewelry for quick cash. The start-up sees millions of potential kiosk locations worldwide in banks, grocery stores, malls, check-cashing establishments and pawn shops, and stores like Walmart. The behemoth of a machine also includes an HD camera system, biometric fingerprint authentication, and an ID scanner.